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PARK HILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL THE DEERSTALKER ISSUE 92 - 4th october 2019

From the Headmaster:

I know I am perhaps biased, every proud Head should be, but I have heard a few school choirs sing a whole host of songs over the years but the performance by our children on Thursday did leave me somewhat speechless. Quite the performance.

The power of song and all that, but I have quite happily had the ‘earworm’ (an earworm, sometimes known as a brainworm, sticky music, stuck song syndrome, or Involuntary Musical Imagery is a catchy piece of music that continually repeats through a person's mind after it is no longer playing) since then. I made my way into school this morning doing what dads do best and singing the song with the incorrect lyrics, whilst being corrected by my daughter (with increasing impatience and annoyance).

I do hope that by positioning the video right at the very beginning (a very good place to start) will ensure the song lifts your spirits into the weekend.

Further reasons to believe it is a wonderful world include, this week, a superb trip with the Year 6 and Year 5 children to HMS Belfast that included a most enjoyable walk (hike) along the Thames, taking in the majesty and historical splendour of London. Having given you a clue, I cannot resist a quick quiz question, can you recognise the bridge spanning the Thames below?

Other reasons? A good humoured drenching at Games on Tuesday, a visit to the Wetlands Centre (how appropriate for a somewhat wet week), Harvest Festival, donation to the homeless charity the Joel Community and then the ISA Junior Triathlon today. All of this interspersed with an e-safety workshop for parents, the second Head’s Coffee morning of the year and a certain new classroom nearly ready for habitation...

So, a jam packed edition of the Deerstalker for you to enjoy. I am pretty sure that the forecast for the weekend is for skies of blue and clouds of white, with days of blessed brightness and a dark sacred night. Along with, hopefully, a good weekend of rugby viewing.

Alistair

ISA National Triathlon (Junior)

I have not inconsiderable respect for anyone who has undertaken the trilogy of swim, bike, run. This time last year we had five in the team, this year eleven. A pure reflection of perseverance and determination from so many children who, in many cases, have gone from non-swimmers to, well, triathletes. A superb afternoon cheering and encouraging our team who I suspect will sleep well tonight. My thanks to the vocal travelling supporters and to Miss Adamidou for organising and for her efforts over the last twelve months. Just look at those smiles!

Class News

Year 6 and Year 5

The week in Year 5 and 6 started with our trip across London to explore the magnificent HMS Belfast as part of our humanities work. The children explored the many rooms on the ship, some of the favourites being the Mess Room, the engine rooms and of course the gun towers. Using the HMS Belfast as inspiration for our studies continued across the curriculum. In English lessons the children have been working on polishing their persuasion techniques by drafting, editing and then writing a persuasive letter to other school children to convince them to attend the HMS Belfast as part of their own school studies. By combining water colour painting with digital techniques in art lessons, the children are in the process of creating some quite unique artwork. Maths studies have consisted of consolidating techniques to complete the four main mathematical operations with a focus on which method to apply and when.

Year 4

As we dry out at the end of another week in Year Four we can reflect on a down pour of learning in our progress through the curriculum.

We have seen great developments with our multiplication of numbers up to three digit numbers using partitioning. We have consolidated our learning of multiplying numbers that are multiples of 10 and 100, whilst repeatedly using our knowledge of the four and eight times tables.

Deforestation is a real concern, especially in equatorial rainforests which we read extensively about on Monday morning in our comprehension lesson. Despite the negative effects of deforestation, pupils read that we are still reliant on the produce and dependent on medicines grown in rainforest regions, posing great moral questions and debate. We have also finished writing our Just So stories and begin a new topic next week on writing travel brochures for rainforest destinations across the world.

Continuing with our rainforest theme, in Humanities the layers of a rainforest were closely observed as pupils identified the different layers from undergrowth, understory to the higher reaches of the canopy and the emergent layer. This theme of animals and plants that exist under the emergent layer have informed stencils that pupils have produced. We aim to use them in a series of prints next week that will adorn their dust jackets for their design and technology project.

To end our week Year Four have looked at the deities of Hinduism. We have looked at the special powers and roles gods and goddesses perform, with the intention to create persuasive presentations to discover who is our favoured deity.

A fantastic week of progress that sets us up for the next week ahead. Well done, Year Four!

Year 3

Year 3 finished off another successful week with making their own take on Mayan ceremonial masks, delving deep into Mayan’s gruesome history following on from our Humanities topic.

In Science this week we completed our iMovies of our digestive system and using the correct scientific vocabulary to explain the process.

After working on improving our vocabulary when describing settings and characters over the last few weeks, we put all our newfound knowledge into our big write, with a focus on writing a more engaging story.

Year 2

This week has been full of fun and nonsense - of the rhyming kind.

We have moved on to poetry and have had fun experimenting with rhyming words, structure, and the work of Spike Milligan too.

He inspired some work on our crazy world poems through the land of bumbly boo.

The children all created structured poems A,A,B,B

We found that using our thesaurus and dictionary was the key.

Moving to Maths, we been subtracting 3 numbers with dice

And finding the difference with hundred squares and their iPad device.

Within our science, we created a web to show diet

With Carnivores, Omnivores, and herbivores, this lesson was not quiet.

Computing, we interviewed each other to check

That we knew how to handle all our high tech.

Year 1

Year 1 continue to explore puppets within DT lesson and have learnt how to up cycle materials to create imaginative wooden spoon puppets. Which range from magical unicorns to mischievous otters.

Our trip to the Wetlands centre this week was an amazing way to learn about the connection between plants and animals in a pond ecosystem.

We throughly enjoyed our pond dipping experience and were able to find a wide range of species including marsh frog tadpoles and baby sticklebacks.

We learnt that a “damselfly has gills on its tail” and that “freshwater shrimps are detritovores and scavenge for their food.”

The behaviour of Year 1 on this learning adventure was fantastic and we were complemented by members of the public on our curiosity and politeness. Well done Year 1.

We begin a new topic in maths - looking at time and have reinforced our understanding of clock hands and o’clock through games and drawings.

In phonics we continue to make excellent progress working on recapping trigraphs such as igh and developing our blending skills.

Reception

Reception has focused on the the value of kindness and looked upon sharing with our friends. We have used role play to act out scenarios of kindness and worked on collecting ‘Pom poms’ for our kindness jar. The children have been put on secret missions to show acts of kindness to their friends and teachers such as helping them holding the door open or finding the missing glue stick lid. In Maths the children matched numerals to quantity by counting the dots on the ladybird and matching the number and then practiced writing numbers to 10 with support of a number line. In woodland school, the children took satisfaction in making natural pictures using items they found in the school grounds such as self portraits, houses, rainbows and their family. They independently created this using their imagination and creativity which followed onto printing and making marks with pine cones and sticks. The children have practised their cutting skills again using natural objects which we will continue to focus on next week. Have a great weekend.

Second Steps

This week in Second Steps we have been celebrating Harvest Festival. First and Second Steps children joined together on Thursday to to learn about Harvest. We played circle games and each child talked about their favourite fruit or vegetable. The children enjoyed listening to the story of The Little Red Hen and then had fun retelling the story. On the play-dough table the children made some bread rolls just like the Little Red Hen.

Still on the topic of vegetables, Chef Leon kindly shared a big box of potato peelings with the children. This gave them the opportunity to practice their cutting skills and to learn to use the thumb, index and middle fingers together.

We have been thinking about People Who Help Us too and the children enjoyed shopping in our role-play greengrocers shop, choosing and paying for fruit and vegetables.

First Steps

Happy Harvest Festival !!

We hope everyone has enjoyed the Harvest Festival as much as First Steps! The children have had chance to touch, feel and smell the variety of fruits and vegetables in our Early Years Assembly. We played games to find vegetables and fruits then sang “Big Red Combine Harvester” song with Makaton actions.

We love the book Room on the Broom story and used all lovely props to retell the story. We have found many witches doing magic spells in our sensory tray and we tried our best to brake their spells. We also have learnt “Do you know the little witch’ song which helped us to remember who was sitting on the broom.

The children made their own brooms cutting and sticking papers while improving their hand eye coordination. Spaghetti painting was really popular at art corner and the children produced really nice broom pictures.

We have found halved vegetables and fruits in the tuff tray and the children tried their best to find the other half.

Finally on Friday we used children’s favourite vegetables to make vegetable soup. The children have enjoyed washing and cutting all the vegetables and we found out that onions can make our eyes very tearful! After boiling all the vegetables we used blander to mix them. And we tasted our own soup at snack time. What a delight!

Calendar and Events

PARENTS’ EVENING 16th and 17th OCTOBER - thank you to all those that have submitted their meeting times. Please can those that are yet to book a slot please do so by Wednesday 9th October.

FLU IMMUNISATION 6th NOVEMBER (Reception - Year 6 only) - thank you to all those that have submitted the flu immunisation forms. If you could return these to the office as soon as possible, even if you do not wish for your child to have the immunisation.

Harvest Festival - Joel Community

Our assembly on Thursday hopefully served as a timely reminder that to have a fridge full of food is something that not everyone is able to enjoy and that there is actually enough food to feed the whole planet but it is sadly not shared equally across all continents. There was a notable intake of breath when we discovered that half of the food available on our planet is consumed in North America (population 483,000,000), one quarter in Europe (342,000,000), and the other quarter (just pause and take that in) shared across Asia (3,674,000,000) Africa (778,000,000) South America (342,000,000) and Australia/Oceania (31,000,000).

Just ‘down the road’ there is a charity helping the homeless here in Kingston. Offering 17 beds for those in need the Joel Community provide their guests with the support needed to make the step from homelessness and gain the confidence and support to gain work and permanent accommodation. They welcomed the very generous donations from us all which our School Council delivered on behalf of our community. The School Council made the unanimous decision to continue our support for Joel, not least as the nights are certainly autumnal.

Please click on the link below to learn more -

E-Safety Parent Workshop

The advances in technology in recent years is extraordinary and whilst a great force for good, there is a dark side that we, as parents must be alert and aware of. We work with our children to help them with protecting their identity online and to support them with their use of technology.

I have supplied below the images from the presentation, please do not hesitate contact me if I can help with any advice or an explanation of any of the slides below.

The key message?

1. Understand the risks-

2. Risk is not harm-

3. Be a role model-

4. Three things to teach your child-

5. Know where to go for help-

Heads Coffee Morning

Apologies to those of you who spent two consecutive mornings in my company, but I trust you enjoyed the discussion around threats for the independent school sector and then an excellent discussion about the ISI inspection process and the Framework Criteria. The latter involved the use of Padlet to help gather responses to questions about your own perceptions of the academic achievement and progress of your children. I have captured the anonymous responses below. There then followed a highly informative conversation about spellings and homework and how we can improve as a school in promoting spelling and timely release of weekly homework.

Do read the questions and responses below, they are most encouraging and complimentary. More importantly, invaluable feedback for school improvement. My thanks to all of you who were able to attend.

Social Media

#confidentcurioushappy

There are also some wonderful images from our Little Adventurers available through their own instagram page -

Images from the week

Uniform

I was very impressed with just how smart our children looked this morning, in addition to their broad smiles as they entered school. I would like to remind you that girls in Prep School should now be wearing the pink and white striped blouse and that the white blouse is no longer part of our uniform.

Games lessons for children in Reception to Year 6 will start next week at KGS Ditton Field, although the forecast looks to be good, will need maroon football socks and football boots for the term. The full uniform list can be found here.

We do also recognise that the black games shorts can be a little large for children in Reception who are joining us for our regular games lessons at the impressive Kingston Grammar School playing fields. Should you find this to be the case, they are very welcome to wear a plain black pair of shorts until such time they are able to fit the school shorts.

Lost Property

The following items are currently missing:

Ralph (Year 2) - grey jumper (unnamed)

Sagari (Second Steps) - black coat (named)

School Councillors

Congratulations to the democratically elected Councillors.

House Captains

Many congratulations to the elected Captains and deputies fo their respective Houses.

Happy Birthday!

Useful Links -

Created By
Park Hill
Appreciate

Credits:

Alistair Bond